The Core Value that All Church Plants Need
by John Richardson | June 5, 2012
You have a huge opportunity as a church planter (not to mention huge responsibility!). When you develop a church from scratch, you get to do what established churches cannot: write your own history. You can determine what the worship atmosphere is like. You can decide how to handle church business and administration. You call the shots with regard to programs…or lack of programs. You can decide if the church location is characterized by a cathedral or a storefront. You have a big voice in this process.
Over the last ten years, I have had the opportunity to plant two churches. Two drastically different churches. And like many “seasoned” church planters, I have a list of things that you should avoid when you start out: pride, blanket church models, high overhead costs, trying to interpret the IRS on your own and the local, crazy-youth-ministry-guy among others.
While there is a long list of things that you should avoid, there is one thing that church planters should not avoid. The money talk.
You need to start having the money talk early and often in any new church. In fact, you really should make a Biblical understanding of money one of the core values of your church.
Think about it. What drives the American culture? For that matter, what drives most cultures around the world? Money. The average US businessman (who you are inviting to your church community) defines his level of success in life by the amount of stuff that he has been able to obtain and by the size of his bank account. We look up to the people who have worked hard and are living well. We admire those who can provide for their families and have something left over to play with, vacation with or give away. (You should know about that last part if you’re having to raise your own support!)
In the new church that you are planting, you can be sure of one thing. The people in the church will regularly think more about money than they do about the work of the church. Bank on it. They will each think about money multiple times a day as they pay bills…buy lunch…get gas…watch the news…surf the internet. Money is always in front of us. Ironically, God is not. The average church-goer will freely admit that they do not spend a large amount of time thinking about the things of God during the course of a normal day. That’s because our culture is driven by the love of money rather than the love of God.
All of that money talk leads to a monumental thought: If the love of money stifles our intimacy with God, then the church needs to have a decisive plan to help people see money from God’s perspective. The way we leverage the money directly influences the way we live as disciples! Jesus clearly said that we cannot serve both God and (the god of) money.
While this is an extensive subject, here’s the big idea: Biblical generosity is the antidote to greed and is potentially the greatest key to spiritual growth in our culture.
With that firmly in your mind, you should be more determined than ever to have the money talk. Don’t avoid this subject! In fact, Biblical generosity should be a core value in the church.
If you leverage this flaw of culture for true intimacy with God, you’ll avoid one major sinkhole that snares most church planters. And you’ll be well on your way to leading a God-cultured church.
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July 16, 2012 - 01:07:03 PM
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July 6, 2012 - 03:07:56 PM
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